Date of Award

6-1-1995

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Alma Vinyard

Abstract

The Christio-Conjure paradigm, a product of both Christianity and Conjuring, historically has provided an alternate set of ideologies for African Americans. As an ontological archetype, the Christio-Conjure paradigm is centered around a set of metaphysical phenomenon featuring various conventions such as religious/moral guidance, natural healing, and contact with spirits. To a large extent, the Christio-Conjure paradigm functions within a matriarchal network designed to extol the African American woman as the life force and mother of humanity.

A corpus of African American women writers have exhibited a critical interest in the Christio-Conjure paradigm because of its cultural link with the past and because of the Afrofemcentric allure associated with this ancient, yet ever-active, African American tradition. Tina McElroy Ansa, Gloria Naylor, and Ntozake Shanqe are three authors who contribute to the matrix of African American women’s writing via their novels, Baby of the Family (1988), Mama Day (1989), and Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo (1982) respectively; each author functions as a literary Christio-Conjure woman, fashioning worlds of women richly impacted by the power of conjure.

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Notice to Users, Transmittal and Statement of Understanding

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